Pub quiz revision – Maybe pub quiz history isn’t too bad after all

I am not a fan of intervention sessions. I bust a gut in the classroom and do not want to use lunch times or after schools running sessions that are not well attended and have debatable impact.

BUT this year I’ve been pressurized into doing them, both by my peers and by my students (well more bullied by the latter). So I made a decision if I was going to do it I was going to have a laugh.

Remember when Richard Evans said “Michael Gove’s history curriculum is a pub quiz not an education“. He was right, but what he failed to mention is that pub quizzes are ace!

Hence I’ve begun running weekly ‘pub quizzes’ for Year 11. In 20 minutes every Friday lunch I am the master of ceremonies. There are normally four rounds, each themed to the GCSE course including a picture round (well it wouldn’t be a pub quiz without them). So for example last week we had a round on surgery, a round on 1920s Weimar, a round on Ancient Medicine and a picture round of name the famous Nazi leader. Every week there is a prize of an Easter egg (I got a job lot on offer in Sainsbury’s). It’s very silly and it’s taken very little planning.

However, it’s fulfilling a purpose. My students know the exam technique to death but often fail to provide precise evidence to support their answers. This is reinforcing the importance of knowledge and getting them to recall it in a creative way. And it’s clearly having an impact. Every week I am getting 20 to 30 kids turning up…. for a non-compulsory revision session! Interestingly I thought it would appeal to the wide range of kids I teach but only the high ability have been turning up and as a result I’ve tweaked the questions to be harder and recall a more specific range of knowledge. And the written answers of this group have been improving and they are including deeper more precise evidence. I have no idea if this is due to the pub quizzes or some other factor but suspect that at the least it’s playing a part in their success.

Fingers crossed this continues in to their exams in a couple of weeks.

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